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Record Contract / Company

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tobi777
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Record Contract / Company

Post by tobi777 » 08 Sep 2014, 09:44

Hi all,

during his commercially successful years Chris was signed to Magnet and the distribution was done by Warner / eastwest (at least in Germany). After his second illness he signed with edel and founded his own label. Later he came back to Warner and his previous albums were distributed by Rhino. That is my state of knowledge.

On the Rhino page Chris is not listed anymore, on the Warner page the Santo Spirito Album is still listed but no news etc.

Most of his back catalogue seems to be out of print or at least not being re-issued.

I was wondering if Chris is still represented by Warner? If this is the case then shame on Warner because they don't seem to give a sh*t about him and his great albums. Every other artist gets a better treatment by the label - at least his most successful albums like Road To Hell or Auberge could be re-issued with bonus tracks etc. - but nothing. No working official site, no news regarding the new release, even his official Facebook page is outdated. What is going on here? Not much, apparently but why is a record label so indifferent about an artist who sold millions of records and has a lot of fans and concert goers all over Europe? :(

Or did he change the company again? Does anybody know anything?

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ann268
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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by ann268 » 08 Sep 2014, 10:52

Hi Tobi,

Maybe this is an answer?
http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/a ... a-20110908

I remembered it after the release of The Santo Spirito Blues?
Ann
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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by tobi777 » 08 Sep 2014, 20:52

Thanks Ann for this information.
Unfortunately Chris' name doesn't appear on their page anymore so it seems this contract has ended as well.

I doubt we will see a new album this autumn, anyway... :(

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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by andrew fischer » 09 Sep 2014, 12:21

Hi Toby,

Chris is still on Imagem Music official page and I doubt the situation could change again so fast:

http://uk.imagemmusic.com/artist.html?a_id=27

Here are my thoughts about Chris's relations with record labels / publishers, based on what I know (you wrote almost everything I know about it right).

Chris was apparently disappointed with his comeback to cooperation with Warner after he signed to Rhino UK, a member of Warner group. I guess he simply had to stop resisting and sign again to a major label either just to improve his financial situation caused by sticking on to his own independent label and recent unpopular blues-oriented albums, or he also wanted to get in closer touch with Warner again to regain rights for his back catalogue (La Passione master tapes first of all I think).

This way or the other, it apparently did not work as he wanted it to, since it is clear that Warner is no longer much interested in using or sharing their rights for the pre-2002 Chris's records. In 12 years they only have released several dull compilations (Heartbeats, The Works, etc.) Not a single sign of intention to release reissues with bonuses or B-sides compilation or any old live material. Yes I do agree this is really very strange and really is a shame.

I suspect one of the main reason for this is that Chris split up with Warner in 2001 with a scandal, and Warner became even more angry after they had refused to release Stony Road and then it suddenly went gold in UK, being released on the independent label (Edel / Jazzee Blue). Thus I think their relationship with Chris is still very hard and signing for Rhino in 2009 did not improve that.

I also assume one of the main reasons of systematical postponing of the new La Passione release is the major problem with Warner regarding the copyrights.

I was a bit surprised when I learnt that Chris signed to Imagem right after Santo Spirito release in Sep 2011, but I am sure this is a positive change and wise decision.

By the way, Imagem is most likely supposed to publish Chris's post-2002 records in UK and Europe except for Germany where Chris is still represented by Edel Records / Ear Music which have released 2008 compilation on vinyl recently.

All in all, i really do hope the situation will change for the better in the end and we would see some really interesting new releases and reissues.

Thanks a lot to anyone who read and commented on this,

best regards
Andrey
My VK fan page for Chris Rea in Russian: http://vk.com/chris_rea

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ann268
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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by ann268 » 09 Sep 2014, 13:01

He sure has a contract there, his name is listed, with many other artists.

One thing I found interesting in the whole update thing, is that only Jazzee Blue label is still on the official website (the Chris Rea Com). Maybe he'll use this one for furter releases?

I tend to agree with you Andrey, that due to trouble with record compagnies he will be able to be his own boss with Imagem as assistent.
It's a Dutch based compagny, so they have a Dutch site, as well as English, which explains the way they work very well. They give the artists lots of space and they are independent.
On this link you can see Chris his name on the right:
http://www.imagemmusic.nl/nl/

Ann
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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by andrew fischer » 09 Sep 2014, 13:50

ann268 wrote:He sure has a contract there, his name is listed, with many other artists.

One thing I found interesting in the whole update thing, is that only Jazzee Blue label is still on the official website (the Chris Rea Com). Maybe he'll use this one for furter releases?

Ann
Hi Ann,

as I see it, Chris's RECORD LABEL is still JAZZEE BLUE. That is why only this name is put on the official website.
This might be also because the website is registered for the orgnization with this name.

The organization named Jazze Blue ltd. was founded yet in 1995 with Sol Mill studios as official address and Chris and Joan as co-founders/owners.

It became a trademark and the name for the record label in 2001/2002 when Chris decided to go on his own without Warner or other major labels.

From 2002 Jazzee Blue was the label for all the new studio and live releases (not considering compilations of pre-2001 material by Warner).

During this period Jazzee Blue had several PUBLISHERS for different regions.

For Germany it has always been Edel Records / Ear Music.

For UK, it was Navyback ltd. for 2002-2008 releases and Rhino for 2009-2011 releases.

From now on the PUBLISHER for the UK and Europe except for Germany is Imagem (UK/NL).

So that Imagem has got the rights to publish, i.e. to print and release reissues of any Chris's records made after 2002 under the label of Jazzee Blue.

This is my guess, but maybe I am only partially correct.

best regards
Andrey
My VK fan page for Chris Rea in Russian: http://vk.com/chris_rea

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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by ann268 » 09 Sep 2014, 14:08

Only a few days ago Rhino and others were still mentioned in the blanco site, they are gone now. Just an observation. Imagem publishes and has the musical rights, that I understood. But maybe they'll use Jazzee Blue as label name, which I hope. I like this Independant thing ;) He did great things on his own label.I hope he'll continue in the Earbooks and Santo Spirito way. They are great products for fans.
Let's hope things will clear up soon.
It's crazy he can't use his own stuff from before 2002.
Ann
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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by andrew fischer » 09 Sep 2014, 14:19

Dear Ann,

I do fully agree with you, but this thing with copyrights restrictions in rather common in the music business.

Musicians who changed their record label at least once and their current publishers have to go to great lengths to get the opportunity to use the old material, especially when it concerns old master tapes for remasters and compilations.

My guess is that relationship between Chris and Warner spoilt in 1999/2000 when a new CEO came to Warner. Chris mentioned it in his interview about King of the Beach album. From earlier interviews by Chris I may judge that he had a friendly relationship with Warner's previous CEO, Max Hall, who bought Magnet Records in 1988. But after his departure from Warner, the things deteriorated really fast. In 2001 Chris already did not want to prolong the contract with Warner and sought other alternatives.

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Andrey
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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by tobi777 » 09 Sep 2014, 20:45

Thanks Andrew and Ann for your thoughts and correction - sorry guys, my mistake - I didn't see Chris' name on the imagem webpage :?

I can't believe that Warner treats Chris' back catalogue with such ignorance. Most fans of Chris are in their fourties / fifties and belong to a certain peer group that a.) still buys CDs and b.) has the money to do so. Chris has been there for more than 35 years now and every other artist of this calibre would certainly get a box set with Rarities, B-Sides, Live-Tracks etc.

But imagem doesn't seem to be any better: Even if you consider that releasing records doesn't make you (or the record company) rich anymore - there's is no support for his tours, either. Last tour had no merchandise! Never seen this in my whole live. Every little pub band has its own merchandise. The Facebook page is a disaster - same goes for his official web page :(

Let's hope that someday Chris will be discovered as the most underrated singer / songwriter from Britain ever and the fans get what they have been waiting for so long.

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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by Chris » 10 Sep 2014, 06:34

Well, well... someday he might be rediscovered, but right now he's rather neglected by many (record companies, executives, managers and publishers in the first place).
Thank you Tobi for striking the right note. I also have this feeling that as a fan, I'm being deprived of 'certain rights', so to speak. Perhaps, we, all 'seasoned' CR fans, are no longer being taken into account as potential buyers? There's practically no publicity about this upcoming tour nor any information when the new CD will be out. Normally, one would anticipate it well in advance. I mean: interviews, articles in the press and online, singles and pictures released etc.
I remember that I bought merchandise during the red ear-book tour (Fabulous Hoefner Bluenotes, in Warsaw, on Feb. 20, 2008), but none was there - to my surprise - when Chris played here again, two years latter.
So, it's all strange to me, I would say.
Best regards to all,
Chris

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Re: Record Contract / Company

Post by andrew fischer » 10 Sep 2014, 08:09

tobi777 wrote: But imagem doesn't seem to be any better: Even if you consider that releasing records doesn't make you (or the record company) rich anymore - there's is no support for his tours, either. Last tour had no merchandise! Never seen this in my whole live. Every little pub band has its own merchandise. The Facebook page is a disaster - same goes for his official web page :(
Hi Toby,

I really think Imagem is not to blame for this since, as I see it, they are only the publisher, as I said before, not a record company like Warner. Therefore they can only use the existing material and arrange contact between the artist/his management, the discs pressing factories and the distibutors. The record company remains the same Chris's own Jazzee Blue label, so he still goes on his own. What for the merchandise etc., this is the area of tour management concern and they just do what they are told by the artist/his manager and/or the record company.

When Warner was the record company for Chris, they really could act the big boss and tell Chris and his management what to do with records, releases, tours format, merchandise, advertising/promotion, videos, TV shows, public meetings, charity, whatever. Imagem is quite not the one to do the same, that is maybe why Chris has signed for them - as Ann has already said, this way he remains his own boss.

That is my point of view on this,

thanks again and best regards
Andrey
My VK fan page for Chris Rea in Russian: http://vk.com/chris_rea

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